Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” Choice


Safia Khan

Time Magazine has awarded the honor of person of the year to a group known as the “guardians” that consist of journalists and reporters that have been executed or jailed in an effort to reveal the truth.

Safia Khan, Photojournalist

Since 1927, Time Magazine has awarded either a person or group of people the title of “Person of the Year.” Although mostly viewed as an honor, Time has been known to name some controversial figures as person of the year such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Donald Trump.


This year, Time Magazine revealed 2018’s “Person of the Year” as  a group of people they nicknamed as “the guardians.” “The guardians” are a reference to a group of journalists who have either been jailed or executed for practicing freedom of speech and who have fought against the “war on truth.”


Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, made headlines this year for more than just his controversial articles criticizing Saudi Arabia’s government. On October 2nd, 2018, Khashoggi would enter Istanbul’s consulate and that would be the last time he would ever be seen. Khashoggi was brutally murdered and mutilated for criticizing Saudi Arabia’s tyrannical regime. He was murdered for speaking the truth, which is why he is one of the prominent “guardians” mentioned by Time Magazine.


Two journalists are currently being held in prison in Myanmar. Their crime? Exposing and documenting the deaths of ten Rohingya Muslims. The reporters, Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone, have been sentenced to seven years in prison.


Time Magazine mentioned numerous other “guardians” such as Shahidul Alam, a Bangladeshi photographer, who was accused of making “false” and “provocative” statements against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and as a result was jailed for 100 days as well as Amal Habani, a freelance journalist who was arrested while reporting on economic protests which led to him being detained for 34 days and beaten with electric rods.


Salma Almoradi (12) believes that censorship in society can “extremely detrimental and keeps people from moving forward towards progress.”


To some people this may not seem significant, but Time Magazine’s choice sparks conversation on the line between dictatorship and democracy. Censorship has always been a prominent part of a tyrannical regime, and even though the United States of America may guarantee freedom of speech, not every country agrees.


In first world countries, there is no shortage of information. However, in some countries that is unfortunately not the case. By choosing “the guardians” as their person of the year, Time Magazine shed light on the brave individuals who fought and died for a cause they believed in. These are people who walked into the “war on truth” and sacrificed themselves to educate the majority.